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07 Mar 2020 10:08 AM by DaveSue Star rating. 2 posts Send private message

Hi all has anyone experienced the nightmare we are having. We live in a apartment with a large terrace in January we had a call stating water had damaged the flat below ceilings. We contacted our insurance company immediately , who promised to be there as soon as possible, three failed appointments they did not arrive. On inspection we were told it was from the terrace but it was a community problem, we waited and waited for the insurance report, still waiting 2 months later, community keep insisting our fault due to bad maintenance. Insurance sent expert out who insists community matter, the neighbours are threatening court action, the insurance insist we don’t do any work, feel sorry for the neighbours and the language barrier doesn’t help. HELP

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07 Mar 2020 12:51 PM by Kavanagh Star rating in Oil Drum Lane Newcas.... 1132 posts Send private message

Kavanagh´s avatar

Hello Dave and Sue and welcome to EOS.

There are rumours that insurance companies don’t like paying claims. Why won’t your insurance company give you a copy of the report? Some would say if you are not getting satisfaction and co-operation from your insurers complain with the  hojas de reclamacions form. It is unfortunate that you pay your premiums in good faith and then seem to get fobbed off when you need help, or is that what life is all about?

There is enough in the world for everyone, but not enough for the greedy!

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07 Mar 2020 1:08 PM by ads Star rating. 4039 posts Send private message

Question....., is any terrace legally the owners responsibility for maintenance or the community's responsibility? 
Is there any boundary marked on the property deeds which is defined as being common area?

Is there a clause in the insurance cover identifying owners responsibilities for ongoing maintenance which would exclude  insurers liability?


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07 Mar 2020 1:26 PM by baz1946 Star rating. 2259 posts Send private message

Ads, surely the terrace meaning the bit outside your patio doors that you sit on with / have drinks..(For instance)...Belongs to the person that bought the apartment, so how can you ask if any terrace is legally the owners responsibilty? Or is it in Spain you don't own these terrace's? 

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07 Mar 2020 1:45 PM by ads Star rating. 4039 posts Send private message

That was exactly my point Baz in my questions going forward!

Could there for instance be a situation where part of the terrace ( overhang troughs) are considered part of the community ownership in order to control a visual conformity? 
No doubt a lawyer could advise according to the deeds?

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07 Mar 2020 1:54 PM by acer Star rating. 1457 posts Send private message


The legal liability for water ingress in blocks of flats is often confused.  Generally speak no leaseholder has any liability to another for water that causes damage etc to flats below.  This it has become generally accepted practice all around the world. 

There are several reasons including the fact that quite often the cause of the leak is often impossible to "blame" any particular leaseholder or other party.  Secondly establishing negligence is often difficult, there are lots of valid legal defences available to you in this situation.  

But to avoid all this potential rumpus the arrangement that should be in place is that one entity - the superior leaseholder, the freeholder(s), property manager, residents association, administrator etc insures the building in the joint names of all leaseholder etc. 

As all parties effectively become "joint insured's" the insurers cannot subrogate (claim back) monies they pay out in dealing with the claim.  So the building insurer is liable - so no haggling, or blaming, or legals etc - the damage gets repaired.

Of course individual leaseholders (or freeholders in Spain) must insure their own contents.  Within the policy the insurers invariably include "public liability" - liability to third parties, but this is not intended to provide any indemnity for instances of water damage etc to other properties in the block.

There are a few exceptions, but the above should certainly apply in the scenario you outlined.

So, in conclusion, the comment you had that "it was a community problem" was good.  Your unhappy neighbour is approaching the wrong people.  They should be speaking to the person that arranged the block insurance - most likely your Administrator, who will also be responsible for collecting your Service Charges for upkeep of the communal areas etc.

It is unsurprising that your insurers are dithering - technical standards and training generally amongst insurers in Spain is 100 years behind the times, particularly in their provincial branches.  You need to tell your neighbours they are barking up the wrong tree.

I hope this helps - feel free to send me a PM if you wish.





Don't argue with an idiot, he will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

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07 Mar 2020 3:08 PM by ads Star rating. 4039 posts Send private message

Great answer Acer!

So there should be no individual responsibility for damage of this nature within any community development, so long as the Administrator has arranged block insurance. I bet not many owners would have known that....


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07 Mar 2020 5:07 PM by acer Star rating. 1457 posts Send private message

As a generalism that's true, but not quite what I said!

With insurance there are always exclusions - which in fairness most usually make sense. 

If the insurers are able they would subrogate their losses where there was malicious damage, wilfull intent, gross negligence etc.  There's also the usual range of other remote exclusions  (eg war, nucear activity, radioactive fallout etc) - and the general principles that must be followed, but none of concern in this instance.

As you say though so long as the person responsible has arranged cover on the right basis.  Spanish lawyers quite rightly get a lot of stick on EOS - but the insurance "industry" is equally lackadaisical.  They're fine for motor insurance and the simple personal insurances, but outside the few big cities the expertise is very lacking. 

As a generalism, they're too geared towards selling and being the cheapest, rather than any product knowledge or having the ability to give meaningful advice.  There is no serious regulation.


Don't argue with an idiot, he will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

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07 Mar 2020 5:17 PM by Marksfish Star rating in Vera, Almeria. 2586 posts Send private message

Marksfish´s avatar

As the top floor on our block, we had a leak that penetrated the apartment below. Damp had been noted in our property a couple of months previous, by the keyholder but couldn't visually trace it. The insurers came in and said it was to do with the grouting in our bathroom, re- sealed it and repaired the damage downstairs. Not sure how it would have been damp from there as we hadn't been in residence for a while. 6 weeks later we had the call from the neighbours again and we re- called out the insurers. They dug up our floor, then left it for 4 weeks as "it was August" before coming back and saying they could find no leaks and replacing all the tiles. They then went downstairs and sent a camera up the ceiling void to see if they could trace it. turns out, the builders hadn't secured the bath waste pipe and it was leaking (when the keyholder came in to do the checks and run the water for us). This meant smashing out the ceramic bath panel (why don't they have removeable ones like here?) and replacing with new.

Insurers were very good about it and premiums went up only 5€ the next year as a result! Insurers were/ are Liberty Seguros.


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11 Apr 2020 5:23 PM by Baggywrinkles Star rating. 4 posts Send private message

I am with Liberty with my car. I think they are an English company. Very effiecient when house ins. comes up I think I will change.

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11 Apr 2020 10:12 PM by DaveSue Star rating. 2 posts Send private message

Thanks for that, its an absolute nightmare, with this coronavirus as well, hope all in Spain keep safe and healthy.

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13 Apr 2020 5:24 PM by CostaBlade Star rating in Riviera. 115 posts Send private message

Just to clear up a few problems regaurding terraces in Spain.

The terrace is owned by the owner of the property.

However it regulated by the Community. Owners cannot do whatever they like with or on their terrace, example would be TV dishes if this is disallowed, 

here on Mijas Costa this is disallowed by the Town Hall, or painting the terrace a different colour from the community colours)

Regarding the leak from the OP the general rule is that there is provision that if the terrace has been poorly maintained then any leak into the property below is the responsibility of the owner above. Some communities use the rule that if the membrane on the terrace (under the tiling) is damaged then it is without doubt the responsibility of that owner, insurance companies also use this rule, this would probably be why the insurance company refused the claim .


Hope you get the leak reolved soon.

Best wishes


This message was last edited by CostaBlade on 14/04/2020.

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